London, UK. January 29, 2014 – Scottish and Southern Energy Power Distribution’s innovative Solent Achieving Value from Efficiency (SAVE) project has secured £8.3 million (€10.1 million) of funding from UK regulator, Ofgem’s Low Carbon Network Fund.
The Solent-based project, led by SEPD along with Maingate, DNV GL and the University of Southampton, will focus on local domestic customers who will be offered new energy efficiency technology to trial in their homes and incentives for making long-term changes to their energy usage behaviour.
This project is in line with the Government’s community energy strategy announced this week to promote local solutions to combat rising energy bills.
Maingate, a European technology firm focused on the energy sector, will be providing the technology and services that collects and analyses households’ energy usage data, and then shares this information with consumers to encourage them to reduce their energy consumption. All project stakeholders will be connected and engaged through Maingate’s open technology platform, in effect an open and dynamic ecosystem capable of flexing and evolving to balance consumer response and behaviour with network requirements. By connecting all of the stakeholders through its platform, Maingate’s role is also to ensure that the benefits of the project can be spread amongst the different stakeholders, reducing energy bills for consumers at the same time as reducing investment requirements for electric network upgrades.
Stewart Reid, SEPD’s Future Network’s Manager, whose team led the project submission, said: “I have worked in the energy sector for over 30 years and have rarely seen such profound changes in the industry. This project has the potential to completely change the relationship between distribution network operators (DNOs) and their customers and come up with a valuable suite of tools for GB DNOs.
“This is an excellent result, not just for SEPD, but also for collaborators in the project such as Maingate, DNV GL and the University of Southampton, and ultimately, for GB distribution customers. It is also a fantastic opportunity for our customers and stakeholders in the Solent area to get involved in an important and innovative project”.
Baard Eilertsen, CEO of Maingate said: “We are delighted to be partnering with SEPD for this ground breaking project. Not only will it highlight and quantify how energy efficiency measures in the home can have a positive impact on the grid, but it will also revolutionise how consumers manage their energy usage. In addition, we will demonstrate, as we have in Sweden, the effectiveness of locally driven initiatives and the important financial savings and reduction in carbon emissions that can be achieved by putting customers in control”.
David Owen, Managing Director of Maingate UK, said: “This project will demonstrate how network operators can also realise the benefits of energy efficiency solutions. We are delighted to be bringing consumers and grid operators closer together by leveraging our 15 years of experience of connecting stakeholders and sharing our key learnings from extensive domestic energy saving projects that we are leading in Sweden.”
In addition the project will show that, by using energy usage data in different ways, stakeholders across the energy ecosystem can benefit. By tracking improvements in the operational efficiency in the grid and sustainable reductions in household energy bills and carbon footprint, our goal is to build the business case for grid operators to engage in similar energy efficiency and direct customer engagement initiatives.”
On completion of the SAVE project, all of the DNOs across Great Britain will have a wide range of tools which will help them assess a particular network’s suitability for demand reduction through energy efficiency measures. This will help DNOs to make informed investment choices, which will see customer engagement and energy efficiency measures as cost-effective, low-carbon alternatives to traditional network reinforcement.